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Airbnb is testing a 4-5x increase in host fees (up to 12/15% instead of 3%)!?

Airbnb has always been charging a very small fee to hosts for every booking received (only 3%).

We found out that the company is now testing a 4 to 5 times increase (12/15%) for bookings coming from ads sponsored on Google. The controversial point is that Airbnb has always been running ads on Google, but only now decided to start charging hosts an extra amount claiming that the extra amount will help to bring in more users.

Here’s a report we wrote explaining in details the situation.

This seems to still be a test (since not every host is affected), but could be extended to everybody in the future, potentially affecting in a consistent way the revenues generated from hosting on Airbnb.

For example, on an average $400 booking, the new host fees could end up almost doubling!

You can check if you’ve been included in the test if you see the following box in your Airbnb settings.

Looking forwards to hearing your comments!

I couldn’t find this box on my app settings. But if it is true, it is not welcome. After buying guest welcome snacks, breakfast, flowers etc., the profit margin is very low. I think they should not be so greedy and should treat us, their profit generators, a lot better than that. There are many other reservation sites to switch to.

Hey Elianna,

as I wrote before, this seems to be still a test (as explained in a dedicated Airbnb FAQ), thus probably only affecting a small part of hosts.

Airbnb is trying to understand what the impact of this change would be, but I agree with you, if rolled out to everybody, it would not be a good change… :frowning:

Why was the initial post flagged?

not sure why… it looks like the system flagged it for some reason

A couple of months ago I spoke to a rep. and don’t recall the reason but I mentioned the 6-12% booking fee for travelers. She said “oh no…that is now up to 18%” - I asked her if she was sure and of course she said she was and this was something new. So not sure if that was in testing stage but I know I lose a lot of bookings to Flipkey and Airbnb. I will get them through my own website or vrbo.com. There are no booking fees charged but guests sometimes must pay by E-check (no credit card fees) through vrbo.com

At one point Flipkey was charging all of my guests 13% no matter the amount. Then a month long inquiry came in and they wanted to charge him almost $800 in booking fees. That is greedy…and I thought I was greedy with rates…ha! I mean the guest already have to pay 11.75% hotel tax in my area on the rates and cleaning fee. Add another 13% and the price becomes ridiculous.

Low host fees help ensure that we don’t go off-site with our guests. All of us can start leaving enough info in our listings so that guests can easily find us elsewhere online and if we book independently of AirBNB, the company loses. Current fees (3%?) are low enough that there’s very little incentive for us to go around the AirBNB booking system (which our guests often hint they’d like to do…).

I think that “loyalty” will change if higher fees eat into our profits. As it is, with our income taxes, utility costs, replacement linens, endless loads of laundry, higher insurance premiums, and now 15% fees – more hosts will feel the dwindling profit isn’t worth the time and energy – and will maybe just pull their listing altogether.

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Here is a sample of pricing info over a guest I’m expecting:

Payout: $587, Service Fees $70, Total $657

So AirBnb is taking a massive $70 out of the $657 that the guest is forking out?

Wow! Just wow!

It won’t be worth it will it? Are there any other sites similar to air?

So if someone signs up for this, is Air saying that they will only show properties to the guest (where owner has signed up for this)?

Let’s say I sign up for this and am willing to pay the high commission, is Air still going to show other homes that haven’t signed up?

It says “you can receive additional bookings from travelers that learn about Airbnb through Google Ads.”

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Well I’m accepting it because there really isn’t another option. But to think that they’ll make $70 out of our slaving! Wow!

Aquatic,

Did you sign up for it?

I dont think there is anything extra I sign up for? They have just set it out as how they are breaking down my payment.
I don’t think I have an option? Sign up for what?
Is there something I can opt out of so they don’t take such a huge chunk of what the guest is paying?

Aquatic – did you accept bookings that were promoted by online ads? The initial post is about AirBNB promoting your listing through online ads and then taking a larger chunk from service fees.

My host fees are still only 3% – where are you located?

I did a test, opting out of the “increased fee” and then visiting Airbnb coming from a Google Ad… and my listing was still appearing.

Not sure if they are really hiding listings, or just doing a “fake test” to understand the extra willingness to pay.

I was on the phone with Air so I asked the rep. He said it will place you at the top in your area, along with others who have signed up. So, no they won’t hide listings, just place you higher.

There is a company called EVOLVE; I havent tried it but they answer the phone 24/7 to try to secure your bookings and they get you on all the major vacation rental sites(like VBRO) FOR FREE. You ONLY pay them if they secure a booking for you; I think its 10% but they secure ALL bookings for you from all the relevant vacation sites.

Its also going to push out a lot of hosts who will just rent their unit as a normal monthly rental; no hassles w/ bookings, laundry, cleaning, snacks etc., the city shaking you down for more money,it just may not be worth it anymore.

Wow
Will have to look into this. May have just hurriedly opted in without paying attention?
Or may be I didn’t.
And if I did I now don’t know if I should opt out and risk drop in overall income?
Wow! But if they are taking such a big chunk as service fees, then it must be on the basis that I opted in right?

Aquatic - from the screen shots in the original post, it looks as if in certain test areas they opted you in, and you have to opt out.

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